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Rivista di Chirurgia Cardiaca, Vascolare e Toracica

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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2006 August;47(4):457-60

lingua: Inglese

Usefulness of the axillary artery as vascular access for cardiopulmonary bypass

Mastroroberto P. 1, Chello M. 2, Di Virgilio A. 1, Onorati F. 1, Merola S. 1, Marchese A. R. 1, Renzulli A. 1

1 Cardiovascular Surgery Unit Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine University Magna Græcia, Catanzaro, Italy
2 Cardiac Surgery Unit University Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy


Aim. In this paper we report our clinical experience with extended utilization of axillary artery cannulation for cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) and discuss the indications and the results of the procedure in terms of complications and usefulness.
Methods. Between January 1999 and May 2004, 26 patients underwent right axillary artery cannulation for CPB. Fifteen patients presented acute type A aortic dissection and were operated urgently. Axillary cannulation was also used in 11 elective cases: 3 reoperative coronary surgery, 3 valve redo-operations and 5 cases of aortic valve regurgitation+aneurysm of the ascending aorta. Results. All axillary artery cannulations were successful (21 direct and 5 with a side graft) without neurologic or vascular injuries to the right upper extremities. Hospital mortality was 7.7% and included 2 patients operated in an emergency procedure because of acute type A aortic dissection. In all cases, this cannulation site provided adequate perfusion, with a range of peak flows from 4.1 to 5.7 L/min.
Conclusion. Our preliminary results demonstrate that the right axillary artery may be considered an alternative cannulation site for achieving full CPB and providing antegrade flow, thus avoiding complications related to retrograde flow when femoral artery perfusion is performed. This safe and useful method may be used not only in aortic sugery but in other such complex cardiac procedures as redo-operations.

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